Winnipeg (Canada), June 9 (IANS) The United States, heavily favored to win the Women’s World Cup, kicked off their campaign with a 3-1 win over Australia.
The Australians dominated the first half creating more scoring chances, and forced US goalkeeper Hope Solo to produce a string of big saves on Monday, reports Xinhua.
She tipped a blast from Emily van Egmond onto the bar in the fifth minute, and Australia continued to keep hard pressure on the Americans.
However, the twice world champions grabbed the lead in the 12th minute, when a shot from Megan Rapinoe took a wicked deflection past Melissa Barbieri into the Australian net.
Forward Samantha Kerr could have equalised, immediately, but her volley was blazed just over the bar from inside the box.
The Australians made it 1-1 in the 27th minute, when co-captain Lisa de Vanna produced a sharp left-foot finish to beat Solo into the bottom right corner.
The more experienced Americans began to grab the momentum as the second half wore on.
Christen Press put the London Olympic gold medalists 2-1 ahead in the 61st minute. H. Rapione sealed the win for the Americans with 12 minutes left when she took possession near halfway and beat a number of Australian players before cutting inside and sweeping the ball home past Barbieri.
“I don’t think we played particularly well in the first half. But I was pleased that we grew in the game. The fan support was phenomenal. Our players settled in the second half, which was much better. That’s something we can build upon,” said US coach Jill Ellis.
The United States will face Sweden, who just tied with Nigeria 3-3 in Group D, on Friday.